Branding resource for plantbased businesses, organizations and causes


It’s simple: branding = brand development. Branding helps consistently distinguish an organization, its property, products, services and communications—enabling instant identification by its stakeholders. Can ‘branding’ (once associated with the marking of cattle) actually help grow plantbased brands? Yes it can.


Plantbased brands have truly moved beyond meat since Tofurky launched over 35 years ago. However, there is still much to do to create an equal marketplace for ‘veggiebrands.’ A trip to the local store shows that most lack the strength of their animal counterparts and are often hidden away in the smaller ‘specialty’ section. As a result, they are not seen as a serious option and often struggle as grassroots operations.


If plantbased is to become ‘mainstream,’ it must counter the amateur, homegrown clichés often associated with this category. A modern, more professional brand image is required. The success enjoyed by so many mass commercial brands is available to the plantbased—but only if they are willing to adapt the same brand-centric model.


The challenge facing the veggie cause is confusion: vegan/vegetarian/lacto-vegetarian/ovo-vegetarian/ovo-lacto-vegetarian/pesce-vegetarian etc. etc. And if that doesn’t create enough confusion for plant-based prospects, there are hundreds of poorly branded organizations, products, services and causes.

Yet the animal product folks seem to have a more united front—like they all got together and put some real effort into their brand and how they could better position themselves to busy people. And it has paid off—literally. Their messages are clear and memorable: “Get Cracking,” “Got Milk?” are household slogans. Such phrases would overpower any mass veggie-promoting tagline—if there were any.


Many parents believe that a cow’s milk is the best source of calcium for their child. This is the power of Brand Dairy. So why can’t the veggie pushers get it right? Part of the problem is funding. The animal-product marketing orgs simply have more of it. However, the plantbased movement lacks not only the dollars, but also the ability to produce high-quality brand messaging that the general public will take seriously. Time to get cracking!

Can ‘branding’ (once associated with the marking of cattle) actually help grow plantbased brands? Yes it can.


× Amateur/do-it-yourself branding
× Brand identity lacks credibility
× Charging more for homegrown
× Complacency: good enough for now
× Complexity: benefits poorly articulated
× Entrepreneurial ego: we are the best
× Following/ignoring the competition
× No consistency: lack brand standards
× No distinction: cliché brand imagery
× No long term brand vision/plan
× No objectivity: owner too close to it
× No time: lack of human resources
× Not considering all brand touchpoints
× Not paying attention to brand detail
× Procrastination: we’ll brand it later
× Product/service poorly positioned
× Unrealistic budget: personally funded
× Weak/no trademark protection

Plantbased brands are growing up! Learn more: